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> Mixer, Here's a noob question for ya..
DeepRoots
post Aug 18 2007, 09:24 AM
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I can be a total noob when it comes to equipment, but what are the uses of a mixer? i've seen them online alot (music stores etc) Why would you use one? blink.gif In what situation? huh.gif to what advantage? mellow.gif Is it worth it? unsure.gif
Thanks all! Any and all wisdom will be readily absorbed!

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Nick325
post Aug 18 2007, 09:27 AM
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i think you use it to mix music together. for example like u mix a backing track and solo together. like our collabarations
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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 18 2007, 09:39 AM
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QUOTE (Nick325 @ Aug 18 2007, 04:27 AM) *
i think you use it to mix music together. for example like u mix a backing track and solo together. like our collabarations


2 main uses - live and recording.

In a live context you take audio signals from all band members and mix their levels into the PA so it sounds good.

For recording, you use a mixer mostly when you have recorded all the separate tracks and want to blend them together into a finished song.

Thats a very quick overview, there is a lot of detail about different types, and facilities such as effects loops, busses, eq and all sorts of good stuff.

For recording, the mixer is slowly being phased out by entirel didgital techniques where all mixing is done by a program rather than a physical desk.

(Stands back and waits for Tony to write 10000 words on mixers smile.gif)

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Aug 18 2007, 09:39 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 18 2007, 05:42 PM
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Trying to keep this one below a 1000 word essay Andrew laugh.gif .

One thing to be careful of - as mixers have different main purposes - there are different types of mixers available. For instance a live/pa desk, a studio/recording desk, a summing desk. Most of us on this board will probably be most familiar and more likely to use either the pa or the studio mixer. (Not least because good summing mixers tend to cost a lot more.)

As Andrew says the major purpose of a mixer/console is to take multiple inputs allow you to adjust/balance the gain and process (for instance eq) the signal. A console, by the way, will allow you to have different types of input: different both physically (for instance XLR- common to microphones - jack, trs, stereo jack, mini-jack and so on) and also in the level of signal - Hi-Z (unbalanced) or Low-Z (balanced). That signal may then be summed with others into one or more signals that can be sent to one or more outputs (ie a main stereo output, monitor outputs, headphones and so on) and of different types (xlr, jack, phono, AES/EBU, s/pdif). So the type of console a person needs means that they have to think about how and why they need to combine signals and the types and number of input and output signals they need.

A difference of opinion I'd have with Andrew is whether consoles are being super-ceded by software. I routinely need and use a lot of physical inputs and several outputs: a mixer means I can keep lots connected at the same time. You can get pro-audio quality rack mounted sound cards (ie MOTU, RME - by pro-audio I mean, at least in part, a soundcard that has one or more pro quality microphone pre-amps. A lot of soundcards don't.) that will provide the input/output here but the physical form factor means they use rotary pots rather than faders. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I also much prefer to adjust faders physically then by using a mouse or by turning a knob. So for me it's a console used in conjunction with software sequencing.

Cheers,
Tony

ps think that was under 1000 words laugh.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Aug 18 2007, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 18 2007, 06:42 PM) *
Trying to keep this one below a 1000 word essay Andrew laugh.gif .

One thing to be careful of - as mixers have different main purposes - there are different types of mixers available. For instance a live/pa desk, a studio/recording desk, a summing desk. Most of us on this board will probably be most familiar and more likely to use either the pa or the studio mixer. (Not least because good summing mixers tend to cost a lot more.)

As Andrew says the major purpose of a mixer/console is to take multiple inputs allow you to adjust/balance the gain and process (for instance eq) the signal. A console, by the way, will allow you to have different types of input: different both physically (for instance XLR- common to microphones - jack, trs, stereo jack, mini-jack and so on) and also in the level of signal - Hi-Z (unbalanced) or Low-Z (balanced). That signal may then be summed with others into one or more signals that can be sent to one or more outputs (ie a main stereo output, monitor outputs, headphones and so on) and of different types (xlr, jack, phono, AES/EBU, s/pdif). So the type of console a person needs means that they have to think about how and why they need to combine signals and the types and number of input and output signals they need.

A difference of opinion I'd have with Andrew is whether consoles are being super-ceded by software. I routinely need and use a lot of physical inputs and several outputs: a mixer means I can keep lots connected at the same time. You can get pro-audio quality rack mounted sound cards (ie MOTU, RME - by pro-audio I mean, at least in part, a soundcard that has one or more pro quality microphone pre-amps. A lot of soundcards don't.) that will provide the input/output here but the physical form factor means they use rotary pots rather than faders. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I also much prefer to adjust faders physically then by using a mouse or by turning a knob. So for me it's a console used in conjunction with software sequencing.

Cheers,
Tony

ps think that was under 1000 words laugh.gif



I just don't have nothing to say after this Tony...smile.gif

This post has been edited by muris: Aug 18 2007, 08:12 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 18 2007, 09:22 PM
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He, I knew you'd have some stuff to add wink.gif

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 18 2007, 12:42 PM) *
A difference of opinion I'd have with Andrew is whether consoles are being super-ceded by software. I routinely need and use a lot of physical inputs and several outputs: a mixer means I can keep lots connected at the same time. You can get pro-audio quality rack mounted sound cards (ie MOTU, RME - by pro-audio I mean, at least in part, a soundcard that has one or more pro quality microphone pre-amps. A lot of soundcards don't.) that will provide the input/output here but the physical form factor means they use rotary pots rather than faders. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I also much prefer to adjust faders physically then by using a mouse or by turning a knob. So for me it's a console used in conjunction with software sequencing.


You're right here of course, there is still an important place in the studio for a mixer, I guess I meant that they were being used less for final mixdown as this is now done in the box a lot more, especially in project studios, and I am not averse to losing the huge 24 track desk we had. However, they are still great problem solvers in the studio and I will probably maintain a mixer for impedance matching, input level mixing, and also just mixing my various guitars keyboards etc purely for monitoring. What I have stopped doing is mixing down through a mixer.

Even the need to use analog effects during mixing can be addressed these days through virtual effect loopss (using a spare in and out on your interface) so I see less and less reason to do the mixdown the old way.


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DeepRoots
post Aug 18 2007, 09:33 PM
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Thanks guys, no longer in the dark!
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 18 2007, 10:00 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Aug 18 2007, 02:22 PM) *
... and I am not averse to losing the huge 24 track desk we had. ...


Now if you would just lose it in my direct please Andrew biggrin.gif .

Glad to have been of help Deeproots smile.gif .

Cheers,
Tony


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 18 2007, 10:20 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 18 2007, 05:00 PM) *
Now if you would just lose it in my direct please Andrew biggrin.gif .


Sorry - I think my partner in crime eBayed it a ocuple of months back, but I'm not sure smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 18 2007, 10:33 PM
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Oh well guess I'll have to carry on with the 32 I've got then tongue.gif .

Cheers,
Tony


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 18 2007, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Aug 18 2007, 05:33 PM) *
Oh well guess I'll have to carry on with the 32 I've got then tongue.gif .

Cheers,
Tony


Bigger is better right ? smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 18 2007, 11:43 PM
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Yep - size matters biggrin.gif .

Cheers,
Tony
I can never have enough channels tongue.gif 32/16/8 and I still want more laugh.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Aug 18 2007, 11:57 PM
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Thats what I love about the digital world - unlimited tracks, unlimited busses smile.gif

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Aug 19 2007, 12:01 AM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Aug 19 2007, 12:14 AM
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laugh.gif - and the need for ever bigger, faster more powerful pcs as microserf 'upgrades' its o/s to give even more 'windows has encountered a problem' messages and bsod's.

Vista laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif .

Life was so much simpler when I had a commodore pet biggrin.gif .

Cheers,
Tony


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